Pope Francis Is a 'Political Genius'
And Obama should pay attention: Politico Magazine
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2014 1:15 PM CST
Pope Francis waves in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(Newser) – He's known for his humility, his down-to-earth nature, his personal phone calls to the flock, and even his selfies. But is Pope Francis actually a "political genius"? Yes, writes Candida Moss at Politico Magazine. "Herein lies the genius of Pope Francis’s papacy: He has persuaded the world he isn’t a politician and, in doing so, has become arguably the most politically influential man in the world." The thing is, predecessor Benedict said many of the things Francis is saying. But with Francis, because of how he leads his life, more people listen.

President Obama would do well to pay attention to this pope, writes Moss. "What other world leader has such clarity of message?" Maybe Obama can't literally get as close to the public as Francis can, but he can take a larger lesson: Francis "shows that even in the informational deluge of the modern age, it’s possible to hold to and embody a few big ideas and persuade people to rally around them," writes Moss. "What American president couldn’t benefit from a reminder of that?" Click for the full piece.